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Man found guilty of 1999 Norcross rape

LAWRENCEVILLE -- As is typical, the rape trial of Raymond Contreras boiled down to the issue of consent -- and an abundance of he said, she said.

A jury on Friday believed her.

Contreras was convicted of rape and kidnapping with bodily injury in the Aug. 15, 1999, attack. Contreras was arrested nearly nine years later, when a DNA sample taken from the victim matched one he'd submitted while serving prison time for burglary.

The victim, now a 27-year-old Californian and mother of two, was walking home from a Norcross pool hall near Jimmy Carter Boulevard when Contreras and another man forced her into a truck and drove to a closed business park. They took turns raping her and dumped her after midnight at a closed gas station near her home.

Contreras, the driver, identified his alleged accomplice only as "Miguel." Police have not arrested or identified him.

The victim tearfully recounted the attack in detail earlier this week, claiming she'd never met her assailants.

Contreras and his attorney argued that he'd picked her up that night alone and drove her to the pool hall, where they courted and later had consensual sex in his truck. He testified she became emotional when he had to go home to his family without her, so he dropped her off at the gas station, said his attorney, Theresa Hood.

The crux of the defense's argument involved the lack of visible injuries on the girl, who in her own words was violently abducted and choked.

But a small laceration found during a rape examination was indicative of forced sex -- a detail that conflicted with Contreras' testimony, said Assistant District Attorney Teresa Klein.

Contreras, a 44-year-old father of six, had served prison time on cocaine and burglary charges but had no history of sexual assaults, said Hood.

The victim testified that she's moved on with her life, now studying criminal justice at a California technical college with hopes of becoming a victim advocate.

Sentencing for Contreras will be at a later date, said Klein.